Nancy Pelosi and The Art of Fashion
After debating a possible government shutdown and the increasing tensions surrounding the US-Mexico border, Nancy Pelosi strode out of the White House in her now iconic rust-colored coat, flashed the cameras a smile, and slipped on her Armani sunglasses to address the media. Ever since, the Internet has not been able to stop talking about the significance of this captured fashion moment.
Image Courtesy CNN
In a constant state of flux and recycled trends, fashion straddles the line between commercialism and artistry. Fashion designers are curious about shape and form, fascinated by color, intrigued by social, historical and cultural references, and therefore, find themselves drawn to art galleries, to museums, and to artists' studios. Inspiring confidence and individuality in consumerism, art and fashion are intrinsically linked. Influenced by fashion and its portrayal in photography, mixed media artist Jane Maxwell and photorealist painter Pedro Bonnin create work that emphasizes the movement of the human figure through space, including defining elements of style.
Utilizing found printed material, Maxwell navigates the politics of identity and advertising in fashion. Emanating femininity, her silhouettes utilize found printed material in homage to brand logos and apparel. Capturing a strong sense of motion, her panels emphasize the stride of each figure with the fabric of their clothing billowing behind them. Accentuating a three-dimensional presence, her panels step out towards the viewer.
Jane Maxwell, Walking Girls Wall Sculptures, Mixed Media with Resin on Panel
Blending the creative cultures of art and fashion, Pedro Bonnin dissects the narratives of perception, showing fashion garments and accessories as statements of identity. Emphasizing drama with his signature monotone background and tightly cropped compositions, Bonnin creates the personalities of his figures through a meticulous portrayal of clothing and accessories. Such details, such as oversized sunglasses on his figures, give a vivid sense of individuality and physical presence. By obscuring the eyes of his figures with sunglasses, he maintains a sense of mystery and hidden intentions, all the while alluding to the high fashion accessory.
Pedro Bonin, Paper02, Oil on Paper, 27.5” x 21”
Though Maxwell and Bonnin work in vastly different stylistic approaches and mediums, both artists find inspiration in the human form as their practices touch on universal themes of identity and perception through the lens of fashion. Finding resonance with the ideas of personal agency, body image, femininity, and the cultural significance of self-expression, Jane Maxwell, Pedro Bonnin, and Nancy Pelosi all embody the confidence that lays at the intersection of art and fashion.